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Akropolis Solo Review

akropolis (1)

Easy to learn tricky to master, solo-able, spatial puzzle games are my manna. They soothe my overstimulated mind in an active way, and comfort me even when I lose spectacularly. Which I do. Nearly always. Because neuro diversity has given me a rather unique set of skills. But sadly none of them are the Liam Neeson of Taken kind. And neither do they include either a sense of direction or spatial awareness! But at the grand old age of 40 I’m realising that it’s okay. The rule book to life is written a certain way, and I’m working on a translation!

Akropolis solo therefore falls squarely in my happy place. And very lucky I am too as it almost didn’t happen. The original publication didn’t have a 1 player mode at all. But, by the mystical powers of BGG, the designer uploaded an official solo variant, and now we can all play against the Illustrious Architect!

And wowza, they are a tough nut to crack!

Setting Up Solo

This is easy (unlike your competition!). Solo is set up the same as a regular 2 player game. And we can play the normal version or the extended version (using all the city tiles). We’ll give Illustrious a starting tile and two stones, and we are the Chief Architect going first.


Our turn in both picking and placing is exactly the same as the regular game except for one tweak. Instead of returning our spent cubes to the supply, we must give them to the Illustrious Architect. Yep, our tile choice directly increases their purchasing power!

On their turn, Illustrious always picks the cheapest city tile with a Plaza – they are star hunters! But if there are no Plazas or they can’t afford it, they’ll take the first tile in the Construction Site row which is always free. Any stones they pay go back into the supply.

Now, placing their tile in their city is even easier than following their prescribed picking order. We don’t need to make any placement decisions for them (yay!). They just collect tiles. But. And this is a big BUT. At end game scoring, it is presumed that they will have respected every single placement rule and will therefore score the maximum points for each District type (so long as they have matching colour Plazas). That is a lot of points! And if you play any of the advanced variants, well, you guessed it. They will automatically score as though they achieved it/them! Ooft!

Now, if you are thinking “the Illustrious Architect is no match for my superior spatial skills”, then firstly, I bow to your greatness! And secondly, the rules include 3 difficulty levels; Ouch, What-the-?, and My brain just exploded. Haha okay so they aren’t technically called that, but that’s what they feel like to me!

Slick City

Akropolis is a brilliant game at any player count and it is fast becoming one of my favourite games to solo. Quick to the table with no thinking to be done for the Illustrious Architect. I perform their turn in seconds which leaves prime gaming time for me to sweat over what I am going to take and where I am going to place it.

Knowing what the Illustrious Architect is going to take each turn does give the game a different feel to MP mode. The insider information effect of knowing which tile they will take does impact my strategy. But that’s not a bad thing. It works really well in Calico, Cascadia, Verdant, and other spatial puzzles and open drafting games. It’s even in ones like Red Rising. And it works brilliantly here too. And what the Illustrious Architect lacks in choice is mitigated to a degree by the random tile offerings in the Construction Zone each round.

And having to pay over any stones I use directly to them adds another layer of tricky-trade off decision dilemmas to my city District picks. I could pay to take a juicy tile I know they need. But that could give them the resources to pay for the perfect tile next pick! I don’t know about Chief Architect. When playing against the Illustrious Architect, I know that I could well be (and generally am) the architect of my own demise!

Final Thoughts

I think you already know that I am a huge fan of this game. And the fact that I can solo it is the cherry on the city construction cake! As a single player tile layer, it feels even faster to set up that Cascadia. And that game used to be my benchmark for box-to-table rapidity! Having the tiles face down in the box in stacks helps to get the game going in just a few minutes. And for me, where game time is always at a premium, sneaking in a solo session is made possible with a game like Akropolis. If you love puzzly, spatial games that you can learn to play in seconds and that bring the crunch, I would highly recommend Akropolis!

That concludes our thoughts on Akropolis (solo). Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Akropolis today click here!